Call for Abstracts for the 8th UCLA Archaeological Research Conference

The Graduate Student Association of Archaeology, an affiliate of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, invites proposals for papers for its 8th Graduate Archaeology Research Conference. This conference will take place on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, California, on February 7th and 8th, 2020. Twelve accepted applicants will give 20-minute presentations followed by brief question-and-answer sessions.


We welcome interdisciplinary approaches to this year’s theme on “Experiencing Destruction and Regeneration in Archaeology.” We aim to discuss the many contexts in which uncontrolled or deliberate destruction—as well as regeneration, reconstruction, and re-use—plays a part in the archaeological past and present. Destruction lies at the heart of archaeological inquiries, seen in every context from the collapse of civilizations to the deliberate breaking of ceramics in ritual settings. Destruction of archaeological remains also occurs in the present through the neglect or eradication of material heritage for economic, sociopolitical or environmental reasons. Simultaneously, reconstruction and regeneration penetrate every aspect of archaeology—seen in current heritage management practices as well as in the material traces of ancient and modern peoples’  efforts at recovery, rebuilding and re-use.


We encourage speakers to approach this topic from an experiential perspective, as moments of destruction and reconstruction or regeneration provide communal sensorial experiences, producing and reproducing social memory and shared identities. Archaeology, as a discipline rooted in materiality, can access these senses at their most basic level. Exploring such experiences of destruction and regeneration allows us to better understand the mindsets of past and present peoples alike as they destroyed, rebuilt and remembered.

Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Rubertone, Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, will address instances of destruction and regeneration through the intersecting lenses of archaeology, history and ethnography. She will discuss commemoration and erasure of Native American monuments in New England in the context of colonialism, as well as the implications of documentary genocide and urban renewal for recovering indigenous pasts.

We welcome proposals addressing circumstances of material destruction, regeneration and re-use at all scales of human experience both past and present. Abstracts should clearly describe the proposed topic of discussion and its relationship to the conference theme.


Submissions not exceeding 250 words may be emailed to archaeogradcon@ioa.ucla.edu no later than November 1st, 2019.

Download the call for papers here.